Licenced Women Fail Written Exam 54.5% More than Men
Women are better drivers. No, according to a GMAC Insurance study. Current drivers that took a written exam showed that 16.4% of us would fail. The percent of men that would fail compared to women show a 54.5% disparity, men would fare better. The article suggests that “women fare somewhat worse” perhaps to curtail a backlash of letters spouting misandry but I do not remotely see how such a titanic disparity can be considered nominal.
No one likes DMV driving tests: parallel parking in front of a tester is nerve wracking, and it seems like half the exam questions have nothing to do with things you encounter in the real world. That said, compared to parts of Europe it’s not like American DMV tests are exactly hard — a careful, experienced driver should be able to pass easily, right? Well apparently not: according to a recent study from GMAC Insurance, 16.4 percent of the drivers on America’s roads would fail the DMV’s written test if they took it today.
This year the fourth annual GMAC Insurance National Drivers Test polled 5,524 licensed Americans from all 50 states and the District of Columbia, asking them 20 different questions from actual DMV driving tests from around the country. Though the national average score rose slightly to 78.1 percent (from 77.1 percent in 2007), according to the study nearly 33 million drivers would be unable to pass the exam. In particular respondents had problems with two specific questions: 73 percent couldn’t identify the safe following distance from the car in front of them, and a full 84 percent didn’t know what to do when approaching a steady yellow traffic light.
The study did reveal some interesting surprises — according to GMAC, participants 35 years or older were more likely to pass, and generally the older the driver, the better a score they got. Women and men posted similar scores, though female drivers did fare somewhat worse with a 20 percent fail rate versus 13 percent. Regionally, drivers from the Northeast had the fewest number of correct answers while Midwestern motorists did the best.
So which state has the most knowledgeable drivers in the union? That would be Kansas, where participants got an average test score of 84 percent. If you’re road-tripping down the New Jersey Turnpike, however, watch your back — drivers in that state managed to get only 69.9 percent of their answers right. Looking to improve scores, the survey also found a majority of Americans support standardizing regulations like speed limits and pedestrian right-of-way rules across the country, as well as the establishment of a national written driving test for all 50 states. Two out of three believe people should have to re-take the written test above a certain age, with 41 percent of them supporting mandatory testing every year.
To see how your state scored you can check out the full list here, and before you laugh at the bottom four of Massachusetts, New York, DC, and New Jersey, GMAC invites you to go ahead and take the test yourself. And if you do live in one of the bottom-ranked states, the next time you’re in crowded traffic don’t count on your fellow drivers to do the right thing — they might not know what it is.